The route of Church History in our dispensation was a path of filters. It was strewn with wrenching decisions, heroic moves, deep changes. The filters sifted. They purified. When we consider the Kirtland experience, we might suppose that those who made it that far had been sifted enough. But the Lord was putting together a dream team. So there had to be Missouri, Nauvoo, Winter Quarters, and more.
Those who would reach the Great Basin were to be a root stock, a foundation -- a kind of spiritual gene pool. The "first workers in this last kingdom" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:70,74) were narrowed down again and again. Then, isolated for a while, "far away in the west," the color of the restoration could set into the fabric. There, they would build a heritage.
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